Ocho Rios and the Central North Coast

Accommodations

Ocho Rios has developed a wide array of accommodation options thanks to its place as one of the original resort towns in Jamaica. Nevertheless, at the lower end, conditions tend to be consistently on the shabby side with few exceptions, while there are several good mid-range and high-end options.

Many of Jamaica's wealthiest families have weekend homes on Discovery Bay, making it one of the island's most exclusive villa enclaves. Many of these homes rent through agents, while some rent directly through the owners, but usually the pricing is the same either way and renting through an agent can afford some accountability and recourse should you have any problems.

A smattering of low-key budget accommodations can also be found in Discovery Bay, with little in between the budget and luxury extremes.

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Moxons Beach Club

Moxons Beach Club (US$85–225) is a boutique property perched atop the cliffs in Stewart Town, between Tower Isle and Boscobel about 12 kilometers east of Ocho Rios. The four-level property descends to a private beach. Rooms face the sea or a courtyard and have queen- or king-size beds and en suite bathrooms. Wi-Fi is complimentary. A restaurant serves a mix of Jamaican and international dishes (US$8–28). This is a smart, well managed hotel ideal for couples or families with mature children.

In: Hotels, European Plan

Bromley

Bromley (US$80 per night) is a stately great house owned by the founding family of Walkerswood jerk sauces. A quaint cottage, Lignum Vitae, located next to the great house operates as a bed-and-breakfast, with a large bedroom suite containing a queen-size bed plus an additional twin bedroom with a veranda. Bromley is set in the cool hills of Walkerswood, a 15-minute drive above the resort town of Ocho Rios.

In: Bed and Breakfasts

Amanoka

Amanoka is one of the most luxurious villas in Jamaica, if not the most over-the-top, catering to the pinnacle of the high-end market. Amenities include a spa, tennis courts, private beach, infinity pool, and a large hot tub (US$18,000/21,000 weekly low/high season for up to 14 people).

In: Villas

Idle Hours villa

If you've got time to burn, this is the place to light it up

In: Villas

Itopia

Itopia (US$495/night) is a lovely country home owned by the Henzells, the family whose late patriarch, Perry, brought the world The Harder They Come, the film that helped to catapult a young Jimmy Cliff to international superstardom in the early 1970s. Built in 1660 as the overseer's house at Cardiff Hall estate, the cut-stone three-bedroom home is cozy and charming, in a preserved colonial state enhanced by the design genius of Sally Henzell and appointed with colonial era furnishings and funky family memorabilia.

In: Villas

Jewel Runaway Bay

Jewel Runaway Bay Beach and Golf Resort is a 266-room all-inclusive resort across the road from the Runaway Bay Gold Course. It has three swimming pools and 40 suites with private plunge pools. A three-story block on the western beach has 30 oceanfront rooms and suites, 14 of which have private plunge pools. In the eastern courtyard, there are 30 garden-view veranda suites, also with private plunge pools.

In: All inclusive

Cannon Villas

Cannon Villas is an assortment of old Jamaican cottage-style villas, four three-bedroom units and one four-bedroom, complete with lattice box windows, cushioned wicker furniture, and attractive interior decor. Villas have air-conditioning in the bedrooms, DSL, Wi-Fi, cable TV, a fully equipped kitchen, and a housekeeper. It's just steps from a fine white sand beach.

In: Villas